Sensory stimulation is the activation of one or more of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste) to evoke positive feelings and responses. Activities that have been designed to trigger the senses can bring enormous enjoyment and relaxation to those who take part, helping to improve mood, self esteem and overall sense of wellbeing.
What are the benefits of sensory stimulation in nursing homes?
Sensory activities often play an important role in care and nursing homes where they are used to trigger emotions and memories in older people who, through illness or disability, have begun to lose their connection with the world around them.
By using carefully chosen objects, sensory stimulation can help people who are are struggling to communicate relate more easily to the world around them, participate and engage in activities and remain calm in stressful situations.
Benefits can include a reduction in anxiety and depression, increased alertness and concentration, and
greater participation in social groups.
For people living with dementia the activities are particularly valuable. As dementia progresses, challenges in communication, isolation, fear and confusion can all combine to prevent people with memory loss from gaining the normal everyday sensory experiences that we all need. Activities that provide sensory stimulation often prove highly beneficial in improving social contact and boosting a general feeling of wellbeing.
What are suitable Sensory Stimulation activities?
Sensory activities often involve a range of everyday objects, and can be something as simple as a hand massage with a lovely scented lotion to more unique activities designed specifically for an individual to trigger personal memories.
For the most part they work best when they are linked to a person’s previous interests or experience so they can help rebuild a connection to familiar everyday life.
Typical activities may include:
● Taking a short walk outside to provide a change of scenery or to feel the sun or the breeze on your face
● Being read to aloud
● Interaction with a friendly pet
● Handling unusual objects the person doesn’t normally have around – such as sand, seashells or feathers
● Art activities – using a range of materials such as collage or clay
● Games such as ‘Guess the smell’ using highly scented items such as coffee, herbs
● Creating a Sensory Box, using personalised items precious to the individual
Contact us at Longmead Court Nursing Home, Braintree
Here at Longmead Court sensory activities form an important part of our activity programme to support our residents’ health and wellbeing. To find out more please contact Longmead Court Braintree for a confidential chat to answer your questions and see how we could help you.